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The power grid in China is undergoing a fundamental upgrade, focusing on the development of a smart grid. A primary element of this transformation is the deployment of interactive technologies, including smart meters for residences and businesses.

According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, the installed base of smart meters in China will reach 377 million by 2020, growing from 139 million in 2012. The penetration rate for smart meters will reach 74% in the same year, the report concludes.

"China's smart grid development is on a fast track," says senior research analyst Andy Bae. “The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the government-owned electric utility that leads the market by a large margin, is the main force behind efforts to construct the country’s smart grid. Moreover, building a smart grid is a key goal for many provinces and cities under the country’s current Five-Year Plan, which continues through 2015."

According to the report, the greatest smart grid growth in China will occur in transmission system upgrades, with transmission investment reaching a cumulative total of more than $72 billion by 2020. The Chinese government and SGCC have emphasized their intention to invest in high-voltage direct current and transmission upgrades in order to solve the country’s power imbalance issues. China aims to provide electricity to urban and rural areas by delivering generated power sources from developable hydropower located in the mountainous southwestern region, as well as wind and solar resources concentrated in the northwest, the report adds.


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